HIST 155: History of the Vietnam War

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2023
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: D1. History and Political Science
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

An examination of the background and involvement of America in the Vietnam War. The course will primarily focus on the American involvement in Southeast Asia, but will also examine the origins of Vietnamese nationalism and the struggle for independence in Vietnam and its global implications and manifestations. A Cold War framework developed early in the course will be utilized to understand U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The course will conclude with an assessment of the long-term effects of the Vietnam War on American society and the rest of the world. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • reason, analyze, compare and contrast reasons for American entry into the Vietnam War and Vietnamese perspectives on the war
  • understand the impact of the Vietnam War on American society today
  • weigh evidence and evaluate the controversies surrounding the war in Vietnam
  • draw lessons from the Vietnam era to better understand the nature of foreign policy in America

Major Course Content

  1. Origins of Vietnamese Nationalism
    1. Early civilization
    2. Chinese domination
    3. Expansion to the south
    4. French Colonialism
  2. The Origins of the Cold War
    1. Definition of Cold War terms
    2. Bipolar international system
    3. Origins of mistrust
    4. World War II
    5. Postwar events
  3. The French War in Indochina
    1. French colonial empire in Indochina
    2. Japanese takeover
    3. Postwar French colonial regime
    4. French-Viet Minh War
    5. Legacies of French War in Southeast Asia
  4. American Involvement in Southeast Asia
    1. World War II and the OSS
    2. Helping the French
    3. Advisory effort under Eisenhower
    4. Kennedy’s flexible response
    5. The Tonkin Gulf
    6. LBJ’s escalation
    7. Tet offensive
  5. The Home Front
    1. The media
    2. War protests
    3. Counter-culture
    4. Hawks and doves, hearts and minds
  6. Vietnamization
    1. Nixon’s peace with honor
    2. Paris negotiation
    3. The end of the tunnel
  7. Legacies
    1. Women and war
    2. Veterans issues
    3. International and domestic effects
    4. Intergenerational effects
    5. Lessons learned

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Vietnam: Explaining America's Lost War by Gary Hess

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Written film report, 2 to 3 pages.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Film reviews: Select a film that deals with the historical period/issues covered by this course. Some films can be obtained at the Citrus College library. Otherwise you are on your own to find them. You must follow this format to get credit. The film review is to be written in four parts. The reviews should be 2-3 pages in length and typewritten. I will not accept handwritten assignments. Your Name__________ Class and Section___________ Date____________ Title of the Film_____________ 1. INTRODUCTION: In the introductory section describe the plot of the film and the time that the film depicts. What specific historical events were depicted in the film? What specific historical characters were presented in the film? 2. CONTEXT: When was the film made? What influence, if any, did this have on the viewpoint of the film? What was the message of the director (in other words, what does the director want you to believe?). 3. USE OF HISTORY: How historically accurate was the film? Can one learn something significant about history from watching this film? Why or why not? Do you feel like you know more about the life in the United States having watched this film? 4. PERSONAL ASSESSMENT: Would you recommend this film to fellow students and any final comments you want to make concerning the film.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4F. History